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Volume 24 No. 155
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Weekend Plans With IMG's James Leitz: Dinner Dates, Fun In The Sun, A Paintball Party

As IMG Senior VP & Dir of Action Sports, JAMES LEITZ is constantly spending his weekends traveling around the globe, producing events for everything from surfing and skateboarding to And1 basketball and triathlons. But this weekend the only travel he has to worry about is the 22-minute drive from the IMG offices in L.A. to his home in Pacific Palisades. Leitz, his wife ROSY, and their two sons, DAVID (10) and JOAQUIN (8), plan to spend the next three days taking full advantage of the California weather and lifestyle.

TOP CHEF: I do 80 percent of the cooking in our house, so I definitely try on Fridays to get home for a family dinner, especially when I’m in town. I will try to get out of here by 5:30pm PT, 6:00pm at the latest. Of course, living in California it’s all about indoor-outdoor living, so the barbeque is always going. It doesn’t matter whether it’s fish, chicken, beef, shellfish, always something going. My risottos are really good and I make a great red sauce, marinara. I have my go-tos -- my bacon-wrapped filet mignon with a skewer of fresh rosemary from our herb garden holding it together.

GREEN THUMB: Cooking and tending to the garden, for me it’s not work. I get home from work and it’s a way for me to forget about work. I’m an event producer so producing a dinner or cooking or gardening or getting dirty with my hands in the garden or just sitting out (on the patio) is really relaxing.

PICK A SIDE: I think with being a Red Sox fan and living here with the Dodgers doing as well as they’re doing, this time of year is really big in my household to watch baseball and watch the playoffs and World Series. We’re particularly invested because of our Dodgers as well as my being a fan of the Red Sox. So that’s going to be happening for sure Friday night. And the kids look forward to that as well. They’re really starting to understand sports and so we do a lot of that.

COLOR BY NUMBER: My Saturday this weekend kind of starts (Friday) night in that we have an event in Korea that the Action Sports division oversees, it’s a running event called the Color Run. It’s in Seoul, (South) Korea and it’s the first one in that country. Even though I’m not there, I’ll be monitoring that a little bit from a social media perspective, probably via e-mails and texts from our executives on the ground there to make sure things are going well. I still get -- I don’t want to say nervous -- but I feel very responsible still when we have people and equipment and events going on.
SERVES & VOLLEYS: Saturday morning I’m going to get up and I’m going to go down to the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Championships down in Huntington Beach and say “Hi” to some friends and business associates and partners and kind of continue to evaluate our relationship with the sport and what our business in pro beach volleyball is going to be for 2014. It’s important to make a showing, say hello and have some sidebar conversations here and there. It’s nice instead of having to be the promoter and actually running the event, I can sit there with my feet up on the courtside and watch some volleyball and talk.

DATE NIGHT: Saturday night my wife and I will be joining some friends and going out to Malibu, just up the street, to Nobu, which is a really great sushi restaurant. They just opened it about a year ago on the beach. Finally Malibu has a couple of restaurants that are actually what you think they should be -- right on the beach, right on the sand.

BEACH COMBING: Sunday morning is kind of special for us because we usually go walking down the hill and go to the beach below the house. My little boys now are getting more and more comfortable swimming in the surf and body surfing, and now they’re into boogie boarding and getting up on their knees. It’s going to be such a great weekend that we’re going to try to grab every last bit of summer that we can while the water is still relatively warm. ... My wife will probably join us and bring down the beach chair and the umbrella and she’ll read a book or a magazine and we’ll frolic in the surf. Then I’ll steal her chair and probably pass out for a few minutes.

PAINT THE TOWN: My son David’s birthday party, he’s turning 11, is a thing called Airsoft, which is a version of paintball. So I’m taking six of his little monster friends and we’re going to a paintball facility here in L.A. The kids love it and I think it’s pretty fun too. It’s a big boy type birthday thing and he’s really excited about it and it’s a hot new area for youth. ... Some of these little kids are going to come home to mom and dad with some good bruises on them so I’ll be answering to that I’m sure later.